Sun. May 19th, 2024


samsung galaxy z flip 5 vs motorola razr plus tent fold

Ryan Haines / Android Authority


  • OPPO and vivo could skip releasing a clamshell-style Flip foldable in 2024 in China.
  • Without a launch in China, there may also not be a corresponding product to launch in global markets.
  • This hiatus is said to be because of the lower profitability of clamshell foldables.

Thanks to an early lead with its Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip lineup, Samsung has been dominating the foldable phone market. While book-style foldables have a premium price tag, the clamshell Flip foldables have a better mass-market appeal. But despite their popularity with consumers, there is bad news ahead for Flip-style foldables, as there is expected to be less competition in this space this year.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo mentions in his latest report that the global sales momentum of foldable phones has slowed down recently. Even stalwarts like Samsung have revised their foldable phone shipment targets. However, the most surprising claim in the report is that OPPO and vivo are said to have halted their plans to launch new clamshell-style foldables scheduled for 2024 for the Chinese market. There is a slowdown in sales in the Chinese market, and brands other than HUAWEI have lost interest in less profitable clamshell models.

Kuo’s report highlights the lower profitability of flip-style foldables. So, manufacturers’ alleged lack of interest isn’t wholly hinging on just sales. Flip/clamshell-style foldables have been more popular with end users due to their lower price points. However, the development, marketing, and distribution costs may be too significant to be profitable enough for another product cycle.

Note that the report mentions OPPO and vivo’s plans for 2024 in the Chinese market and does not point to a complete exit from all foldables in all regions. Reading between the lines, though, if the companies do not launch clamshell foldables in China (usually their first launch market), there is little chance of a global launch. We could see the companies return to this space next year. Book-style foldables have not been mentioned, so we can presume their development and release to be unaffected.

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